Tag Archives: Johnson Hall

Interview: Michael Perazzini, Johnson Hall Historic Site

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Michael Perazzini, Senior Interpreter at Johnson Hall State Historic Site at Johnstown in Fulton County, joined host Jane E. Wilcox on The Forget-Me-Not Hour to talk about the 18th century history of the Mohawk Valley, with a focus on Sir William Johnson’s role in the Mohawk Valley, his Mohawk consort Molly Brant, the Iroquois and early European settlers in the Valley, and their experiences during the American Revolution. The Mohawk Valley’s history during the war was particularly tumultuous. Michael spotlighted what happened to the Loyalists during and after the war as well and talked about what records can help in researching Mohawk Valley Loyalist ancestors during this period. Continue reading

Heritage Holidays in the Mohawk Valley

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Johnson Hall ChristmasIn conjunction with the City of Johnstown’s Colonial Stroll holiday activities, Johnson Hall State Historic Site will hold an Open House on Friday, December 5th from 5 pm to 8:30 pm.

Johnson Hall’s first floor will be decorated for the holiday season, where music of the 18th century will be performed by Liaison Plaisantes. Refreshments will be offered in the historic butler’s pantry. The museum shop will offer 20% off for holiday shopping that evening. Horse-drawn wagon rides of the mansion’s south lawn will be available to visitors between 6 pm and 8 pm. Continue reading

Johnson Hall Announces 2014 Calendar of Events

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Johnson HallJohnson Hall State Historic Site’s 2014 special events will highlight the 240th anniversary of the death and funeral of Sir William Johnson, which followed his final Indian Council at Johnson Hall.

Johnson Hall opened for the 2014 season in May, and offers tour of the historic mansion on Wednesday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm, and Sunday from 1pm to 5pm. The last tour of each day begins at 4pm.

In addition, Beyond the Mansion guided walking tours are offered this year on Saturdays at 1pm and 3pm and Sundays at 3pm, highlighting the historic grounds and outbuildings once located on the estate and the people who lived and worked there. Continue reading

Johnson Hall’s 250th Anniversary Lecture Series

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Johnson HallJohnson Hall State Historic Site’s 250th Anniversary Lecture Series, marking the building of the historic Johnson Hall estate, continues on Saturday, July 6.

Through October, on the first Saturday of each month, lectures that focus on the period surrounding the 1763 building of the home will be held in the first floor hall of the Johnson Hall, beginning at 11am. Refreshments will be available following each lecture in the Stonehouse. Regular public tours will be available after 1:00 pm on these days. Continue reading

Johnson Hall Opens for 2012 Season

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Johnson Hall, the 18th century baronial estate of Sir William Johnson and his family, has opened its doors for the 2012 season. Through Sunday, October 14th, the State Historic Site will offer guided tours on Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10am to 5pm, and on Sundays from 1pm to 5pm.

Tours will generally begin on the half-hour, with the final tour of the day beginning at 4pm. Pre-registered group tours and Site special events may alter this tour schedule. The historic house will also be open on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.
Johnson Hall was the 1763 Georgian estate of Irish-born Sir William Johnson and Mohawk Indian Molly Brant and their family. Sir William (1715 – 1774) was the single largest landowner and most influential individual in the colonial Mohawk Valley. His success in dealing with the Six Nations had a lasting impact on their relationship with the English, and largely influenced England’s victory in the Anglo-French struggle for control of colonial North America. The main house and flanking stonehouses, originally surrounded by a 700 acre farm, now interpret the Johnson family through guided tours of the period room settings, educational programs and special events.

Admission fees are $4.00 for adults and $3.00 for senior citizens and students. Children 12 years of age and younger are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Groups of 10 people or more, as well as school groups, must register in advance. Group fees are $3.00 per person, while the school fee is $1.00 per person (regular school year only). Special fees for Site special events may apply.

The 2012 Site calendar of events will be announced shortly, highlighted by the annual Market Fair on July 14th and 15th , which will feature an 18th century cricket demonstration, live performances, vendors, encampment, an open house and much more.

The Friends of Johnson Hall, a not-for-profit support group, will host the Johnson Jog 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, May 19th. More information on this major fundraiser, which will support the education and preservation programs at Johnson Hall, visit www.friendsofjohnsonhall.org or call (518) 762-4459.

For more information on Johnson Hall State Historic Site, visit www.nysparks.com or Facebook, or call (518) 762 – 8712.

Celebrating the Holidays in 18th Century Johnstown

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The goal of every museum and historic site is to make history come alive in the imagination of the public. The past few days have witnessed a number of celebrations of holiday greenery, music, and feasting, commemorating early festivities in the Mohawk Valley. Most of the greenery and more usual trappings of holiday spirit that are near and dear to our imaginations and hearts did not become common in household celebrations until the nineteenth century. More common in the 18th century secular celebrations were simple gifts of trinkets or money and feasts involving food and drink. There were additional rituals in colonial New York German and Dutch households where ceremonies were brought over from their countries of origin. Continue reading

Wanda Burch: 18th Century Bed Rugs

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The question was raised on “what are bed rugs?” in a recent living history association [ALHFAM] on-line thread. Bed rugs, often spelled “bed ruggs,” were common bed coverings that appear in both 18th and 19th century house inventories. Bed rugs were inventoried in Johnson Hall in Johnstown, NY, in a 1774 inventory of household goods by Daniel Claus. Johnson Hall was built in 1763; but the inventory was completed in 1774, a common recording for wills and cataloguing household goods. Continue reading

Welcome Our Newest Contributor Wanda Burch

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Please join us in welcoming Wanda Burch, New York History‘s newest contributor. Burch has an MA in History Museum Studies and has spent 42 years of in historic preservation, both in Arkansas and New York State. Early in her career she was a registrar at the Arkansas Arts Center and a curator at Arkansas Territorial Restoration. She recently retired as site manager of Johnson Hall State Historic Site and now serves as Vice-President of Friends of Johnson Hall.

Burch is the author of several articles in the NYSHA journal New York History and other publication on Sir William Johnson and was the Upstate History Alliance’s 2010 recipient of the Commendation of Merit Award for individual lifetime achievement and in the same year, the NYS Parks and Recreation Huttleston Award for outstanding achievement, the highest agency honor awarded.

She is the author of She Who Dreams (New World Library, Novato, CA, 2003); a co-presenter of Arts and Healing retreats at Great Camp Sagamore and Arts and Re-integration retreats for women veterans at Wiawaka in Lake George, NY. [www.creativehealingconnections.org].

With her husband Ron Burch she is the owner of two historic houses and author of the nomination for the Glen Historic District. Both were part of the founding committee for the Western Frontier Symposium, hosted at Fulton Montgomery Community College in Johnstown, NY. They also jointly authored Of Beams to Brackets, Architecture in the Mohawk Valley.

Her first piece for New York History will appear this morning.